Cannoli Bites

My father is an amazing man, and thusly, I like to do amazing things for him. Usually it’s in the form of food because

1. It’s in my price range

2. He has a MAJOR sweet tooth. May-jor!

So for fathers day this year, I wanted to make some cannoli’s for him. The only problem, I had no clue where to start. He is very traditional (no chocolate chips, no nuts, no toppings) so I wanted the recipe to be as close to a true cannoli is possible. The other problem is that I wasnt’ ever a huge fan of them, so I kind of forgot what they tasted like so I was worried they wouldn’t taste right and I wouldn’t know. My husband then mentioned how great his parents cannoli’s are (they’re also Italian and great cooks, I don’t know why I didn’t think of them immediately). I shot my Mother-in-Law an email and she shot one right back with the recipe. Crisis averted!

My other problem? I kept noticing that you needed this cannoli roller thing-a-ma-jig or a pizzelle maker (it’s an Italian cookie). I actually have a pizzelle maker but I’ve never used it and didn’t want this to be my first time. I decided in the end to just make little discs and fry them. It worked wonderfully.

I also decided to get just a little creative with some of the cannolis so I took 1/3 and covered them in chocolate sauce and another 1/3 in honey. I left the last 1/3 plain, all for my Pops (until my sister ate half of them). For me, the honey were the absolute best. And what was I thinking when I thought I didn’t like cannolis? DELICIOUS!

So without further adieu, here’s the recipe:

I’ll warn you right off the bat, this makes a LOT of discs. It said it would make 25 cannolis. I could’ve made easily 60 discs. I had enough filling to probably make 100.

You want to make the cannoli filling the day before, if possible.  The morning before is also fine but you definitely want a solid 8 hours for the filling to set. The cannoli shells/discs, you want to make as close to serving as possible.

Just a reminder for the filling, your kitchen aid is your best friend.

Traditional Ricotta Filling:  Whirl 4 cups of ricotta cheese in the mixer on HIGH for about 5 minutes-ish? If you don’t think it looks quite smooth enough, press through wire strainer until very smooth.  Then, fold in 1 ½ cups un-sifted powdered sugar and the 4 teaspoons of vanilla.

If you’re choosing to do the fluffy ricotta filling instead:  Blend 2 cups of ricotta cheese, then fold in 1 cup heavy cream which has been whipped until stiff. It’s a completely different consistency.

I personally went with the traditional, but far be it from me to deprive you of the fluffy recipe. Now, let’s talk about the cannoli disks.

Pre-heat your cooking oil to 350 degrees. I don’t know how much oil I used but it was about an inch deep and I used my big sauté pan.

The directions Miss Jeannette gave me were very exact. I’m not exactly a gentle baker but I tried my best to make the discs as close to her recipe as possible:

Sift the flour with salt and sugar.  Make a well in the center, in it place egg and butter. Stir with fork working from center out, to moisten flour mixture, add wine 1 tablespoon at a time until dough begins to cling together.  Use your hands to form dough into a ball, cover and let stand 15 minutes. The consistency was, well, it wasn’t really like anything I’m familiar with. I’ve never made bread before so I don’t really know if it was right or not, but they seemed to work so I’d say as long as you follow the recipe, you’ll be fine. And as I said before, I used about 3-4 tablespoons of wine (along with a glass or two for myself).

Roll dough out on floured board about 1/16 inch thick.  Cut into 3 ½ “ circles.  With rolling pin, roll circles into small quarter sized ovals, make sure they are very thin (like, paper thin). You can fry two or three at a time for about 30 seconds or until lightly golden.  Remove with tongs to paper towels to drain. Let cool completely before filling/icing.  I used a quart sized bag and cut out the corner, to top the discs. I then sifted powdered sugar over shell and garnished appropriately.

Then all that’s left to do, is enjoy 🙂

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